While visiting their daughter, Karen, son-in-law, Matt, and granddaughter, Estelle, in their new home near Syracuse, N.Y., Mark drove to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown to present an autographed book to John Horne, who is the chief librarian for the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum and Library. John was instrumental in Mark’s obtaining the rights to the 1917 Chicago White Sox team photo used for the cover of his book, “1917-2017: One Hundred Years of White Sox Baseball.” Also, Mark gave a copy of his book to Drew Taylor for his consideration in making the book available for sale to museum-goers. Drew is the Retail Buyer for the HOF Museum. Mark said his book would be an especially good addition for people looking for items - specifically White Sox enthusiasts - since the 2017 HOF Class includes former White Sox outfielder, Tim “Rock” Raines.
Later in the day, Mark spoke with two book store owners about the sale of his book. Karen Johannesen, owner of The Cooperstown Book Nook, ordered six signed copies. Later, Travis, at Willis Monie Books, and Mark discussed a book signing event during the 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend. Once Mark’s schedule for 2018 is firmed up, he may take up the invitation to appear at Willis Monie Books.
All in all, Mark’s visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame was very beneficial. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit Cooperstown, Mark highly encourages one to make plans to travel to this historic site to soak up the rich history and tradition of baseball – “America’s Pastime!”
GO WHITE SOX!
Before leaving Cooperstown, Mark met Chris Peretin outside the entrance to the Baseball Hall of Fame. In their conversation, Mark learned some really interesting things about Chris – who also works at the HOF. Chris told Mark that he is the proud father-in-law of Tommy Kahnle, who currently is a relief pitcher for the White Sox! (Having a great season, may I add.) Mark asked Chris to have his photo taken with him and Chris was very obliging. As the famous “Voice of the Yankees” announcer Mel Allen from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s would frequently say, “Now, how about that?”
GO TOMMY KAHNLE!
GO CHRIS PERETIN!
GO WHITE SOX!
Ann and Mark Pienkos were at the Yankees vs. White Sox game on June 27 as Chicago celebrated Polish American Heritage Night at the ballpark. Since both Ann and Mark are 100% Polish, they wanted to share their pride in their heritage, as well as their pride in being Chisox fans, Their drive from their Wisconsin home to the South Side of Chicago to attend the game was a very profitable one, too!
Outside the ballpark, on the concourse honoring the 2005 World Series championship White Sox team, Ann and Mark met up with several fans. Mark talked about his book and sold copies to loyal Sox fans – several of whom happened to be Polish Americans. Ann and Mark unfurled the flag of Poland and photos were taken on the occasion. One of the fellows they talked with was Paul Skrzypczynski. Mark asked him where he lived and Paul responded that although he now lives in Bolingbrook, IL, he originally was from Brighton Park on the South Side. What a coincidence! When Ann and her parents first came to America, they lived in Brighton Park. They were long-time parishioners at Five Holy Martyrs Catholic Church where Ann went to grammar school. Later in 1972, Ann and Mark were married there with Bishop Alfred Abramowicz officiating. Again, what a coincidence to meet Paul. What a neat guy!
Afterwards, Ann and Mark stopped at O’Malley’s Hot Dogs to have a dog, fries and a R.C. Cola! Delicious! They met up with the new owner, Al Pappalito. Mark and Al had their photo taken together and talked about a possible book signing event later this year at O’Malley’s. That would be a lot of fun - AND the food is great, too! What atmosphere! Just down the street from Guarantee Rate Field – Home of the White Sox! By the way, Al’s dad, Sal, is a real gem. Mark gave Sal a signed copy of his book “1917-2017: One Hundred Years of White Sox Baseball” and wished him STO LAT! (Polish Salutation: “May you live 100 years . . . and more!”)
The 34th annual Polish Fest on Milwaukee’s Lakefront was held June 16-18. This festival is the largest Polish festival in the United States.
As a member of the Polish American Congress – Wisconsin Division, Mark Pienkos volunteered to work the cultural table the state division organized. His wife, Ann (also a PAC member and former officer, as well as 2012 Congressman Clement Zablocki “Civic Achievement Award” recipient), coordinated the volunteers for this important annual event. Mark shared his deep appreciation for his Polish heritage with the many visitors who stopped by the PAC-WI Division table. He also was able to share information about his recent book entitled “1917-2017: One Hundred Years of White Sox Baseball” with interested attendees.
Mark is a life-long member of the Polish National Alliance, as well as a long-time member of the Polish American Congress, which was established in 1944 to fight for a free Poland. Mark was elected National Vice President for Public Relations for the PAC in 2014. As one of his responsibilities, Mark publishes a bi-monthly newsletter. For additional information, please visit: pac1944.org or pacwisconsin.com.
As Mark often says: STO LAT! (Polish Salutation): “May you live 100 years . . . and more!”
Mark Pienkos and his wife, Ann, were featured in the June 2017 edition of The Meadoword news magazine. The Meadoword is published monthly by The Meadows Community Association and is intended to provide information and education for Meadows Residents.
The Meadows is a wonderful community in Sarasota, Florida, with a population of 4,000 residents. The Greater Sarasota Area boasts a population of nearly 55,000 people. The area features a number of attractive venues including world class beaches, a wide variety of rich cultural and performing arts, world-class golf courses, baseball spring training, plus restaurants & shopping galore.
Mark was asked to share thoughts on his new book, "1917-2017: One Hundred Years of White Sox Baseball." Interviewed by assistant editor, Carlene Cobb, the author shared his passion not only for White Sox baseball, but also he and his wife, Ann's, pride in their Polish heritage.
Mark was honored to be interviewed for The Meadoword!
(L-R) Mark, Edward, and Donald
On May 13, 2017, while attending the wedding of one of his nephews, Mark presented his two brothers with a signed copy of his recently released book, “1917-2017: One Hundred Years of White Sox Baseball.”
In his Acknowledgement section, Mark wrote: “I wish to acknowledge my two older brothers, Don and Ed, who were role models to me while growing up in the Windy City. They taught me many things including sportsmanship, fairness, and always to do your best, even in the face of overwhelming odds. Little did they know that allowing me to tag along with them while they played sports “with the big kids on the block” when we lived on 57th and Neva and later when we moved to 48th and Keeler in Chicago would give me the confidence to know that I could do anything I made up my mind to do.”
Don is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee specializing in Political Science. Ed is a practicing surgeon in the field of Urology.
State Superintendent Tony Evers praised Washington-Caldwell for being among 178 schools in the state that received Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition honors for the 2016-17 school year during a special May 1 ceremony at the State Capitol in Madison.
Evers welcomed, from left: Jill Saltzmann, Washington-Caldwell Principal, Dr. Evers, and Dr. Mark Pienkos, Washington-Caldwell Superintendent, to the recognition event.
The state superintendent recognized 21 High-Achieving schools and 21 High-Progress schools as identified by results from 2015-16 statewide assessments; nine schools earned both High-Achieving and High-Progress honors. Four schools earned the award for a 10th consecutive year, while nine schools earned the award for a fifth consecutive year.
“Our Schools of Recognition are staffed by dedicated educators,” Evers said. “Their success is something to celebrate; it serves as an example of the importance of schools, families, and communities working together to ensure that every child graduates ready for college and careers.”
This is the third consecutive year that the Washington-Caldwell School District has received Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition honors.
Mark was invited to talk about his book, “1917-2017: One Hundred Years of White Sox
Baseball” on the award-winning “Sports Jam” radio show. For nearly 25 years, “Sports
Jam” has entertained its listeners during its weekly Saturday morning talk show (7:00-
9:00 a.m.). WKLG is owned and operated by Barb and Tom Kwiatkowski, who live in
Lake Geneva, but are originally from the Chicagoland area. Tom is a White Sox fan, too!
WLKG has won numerous awards over the years and is one of the most popular radio
stations in southeastern Wisconsin.
Prior to the May 6 th broadcast, Mark was photographed with members of the “Sports
Jam” team. (Front Row Seated, L-R): Bill Blakeley, Mark Pienkos, John Handel; (Back
Row Standing, L-R): Jerry Stelse, Ryan Marks (Intern), and Mike Coolidge, host.
Mark explained to listeners why he wrote his book highlighting the great 1917 World
Series Champion Chicago White Sox. The book is grouped in three parts: the 1917 White
Sox, a brief history of the White Sox over the past century, and Mark’s own personal
vignettes about following the Pale Hose over his lifetime. It’s a fun read that will have
readers reminiscing about their own memories and attachments with their favorite
baseball team – which Mark hopes is the White Sox!
GO WLKG! GO “SPORTS JAM!” GO WHITE SOX!
Dr. Mark Pienkos was born in Chicago. His parents were Stella and Edward who worked in factories to support their family of three boys. Mark’s mother only attended school through the 8th grade, while his father went to one year of high school. Mark’s oldest brother, Don, is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Political Science and his other brother, Edward, is a surgeon specializing in urology.